The incoming chief says he wants to give Perth’s state orchestra its own distinct sound.

The West Australian Symphony Orchestra today announced that Asher Fisch has been named successor to chief conductor and artistic advisor Paul Daniel. He will take the reins in the 2014 season when Daniel’s contract ends next year.

Currently principal guest conductor of the Seattle Opera, Fisch is set to lead WASO for at least three years, working closely with musicians and administration in Perth for nine weeks each year following a two-week “honeymoon” in 2013.

The Israel-born maestro is no stranger to WASO, having first conducted the orchestra in 1999. Although he has been a frequent visitor, he really made his impact on Australian audiences as conductor of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra’s Ringcycle in 2004, the first complete production staged in this country. It was this intensive four-month period that made him realise how much he enjoyed working in Australia.

Fisch insists he sees Perth’s state orchestra as a truly international outfit. “During the time I have worked with WASO I have been particularly impressed with the calibre of the musicians. To me, this orchestra is a wonderful blend of British...